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Can I Use Medicaid for Assisted Living?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2016
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Getting Medicaid for assisted living is sometimes possible, depending on the state in which you live as well as whether you have a health condition that justifies a need for this kind of care. As Medicaid funding and policies vary by state, the type of funding that you can get for assisted living varies. In some states, you cannot use Medicaid for assisted living, but you can apply for Medicaid assistance in paying a home health aide to assist you in daily living tasks.

Medicaid is a health care program offered in the United States to elderly and disabled individuals who live on a very low income and do not have much in the way of personal assets. Historically, Medicaid has paid for nursing home care for its recipients. Assisted living is different from nursing home care and has not always been eligible for Medicaid coverage. Some state Medicaid agencies are now concerned that too many seniors and individuals with disabilities are being placed into nursing homes when they could get by just fine in an assisted living center, which is typically less expensive than a full-fledged nursing home.

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If your area does offer Medicaid for assisted living, you will still need to choose a facility that has been certified by Medicaid. Without the certification, you may not be able to receive the funds needed to pay for your residency. To determine whether you are eligible for medicaid for assisted living, contact the Medicaid department in your area. In some cases you may need to work with a county agency that specializes in providing services for the elderly or the disabled. Typically, you will need to show that you are ill or disabled to the extent that assisted living would be in your best interests and that your income is low enough that financial aid is necessary in order to enable you to get the care that you need.

Unfortunately, if you live in a state that does not provide Medicaid for assisted living, you will need to find other ways of paying to live in an assisted living community. Your options may include finding a nursing home that provides many of the freedoms and amenities often found in assisted living. If you are generally able to care for yourself in your current home, you may also be able to get Medicaid assistance for a home health aide who can provide some of the services normally offered through an assisted living community.

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